Objectives: To review the effects of physical activity on health and behavior outcomes and develop evidence-based recommendations for physical activity in youth.
Study design: A systematic literature review identified 850 articles; additional papers were identified by the expert panelists. Articles in the identified outcome areas were reviewed, evaluated and summarized by an expert panelist. The strength of the evidence, conclusions, key issues, and gaps in the evidence were abstracted in a standardized format and presented and discussed by panelists and organizational representatives.
Results: Most intervention studies used supervised programs of moderate to vigorous physical activity of 30 to 45 minutes duration 3 to 5 days per week. The panel believed that a greater amount of physical activity would be necessary to achieve similar beneficial effects on health and behavioral outcomes in ordinary daily circumstances (typically intermittent and unsupervised activity).
Conclusion: School-age youth should participate daily in 60 minutes or more of moderate to vigorous physical activity that is developmentally appropriate, enjoyable, and involves a variety of activities.